Decent work in South Korea: Context, conceptualization, and assessment

J. Sophia Nam, Shin Ye Kim

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18 Scopus citations


This mixed methods study investigated how decent work is conceptualized and understood in South Korea by surveying 320 Korean working adults. Using a convergent parallel mixed methods design, qualitative and quantitative parts of the study were conducted concurrently. Emic conceptualizations of decent work were qualitatively explored, and compared with the quantitative findings from administrating the Korean-translated version of Duffy et al.'s (2017) Decent Work Scale. Internal consistency estimates for the Korean-Decent Work Scale (K-DWS) subscales ranged from 0.74 to 0.94, and the confirmatory factor analysis yielded a good fit for the 5-factor model (safe working conditions, access to healthcare, adequate compensation, free time and rest, and complementary values) to the data with South Korean participants. Evidence largely supported convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of the scale. The bifactorial structure was similar to the original U.S. version, did not differ across age, but did differ across gender. A few differences are discussed through a cultural lens. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103309
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Decent work
  • Psychology of working
  • South Korea


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